17. Elymus canadensis L. CANADA WILD RYE, NODDING WILD RYE, LYME GRASS.
A tall, erect, dark green or glaucous perennial, with short rhizomes, thriving on moist soils and forming a loose sod; found in natural meadows, along stream banks and in damp open woods.
Leaves rolled in the bud-shoot. Sheath not compressed, not keeled, green or glaucous, sometimes pinkish at base, glabrous, smooth, split with edges overlapping, the innermost margin broadly hyaline, the outermost ciliate with hairs to 1.5 mm. long. Auricles present, narrow, 1.0 to 2.5 mm. long, claw-like, clasping. Collar distinct, broad, continuous, glabrous, yellowish green, often oblique. Ligule coarse-membranous, greenish, 0.5 to 1.5 mm. long, truncate, finely notched and short-ciliate. Blade 8 to 20 mm. wide, 10 to 30 cm. long, dark green, sometimes glaucous, flat, tapering, sharp-pointed, dull, prominently ridged and slightly scabrous on the upper surface, almost smooth on the under surface, the midrib forming a keel toward the base; margins scabrous.
Elymus canadensis generally has broader and smoother blades and longer ligule than E. virginicus. Both species have broader and coarser blades than Agropyron cristatum.